SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, hunters harvested 105,278 white-tailed deer during the 2021 hunting seasons.

This includes buck, antlerless, firearm, bow and youth seasons.

The DNR said the number of deer was 1.5 percent lower than in 2020 deer (106,861) and was less than 1 percent below the five-year average of 105,718.

The full harvest of 2021 hunting seasons includes:

  • 42,143 bucks during buck firearm season
  • 27,614 antlerless deer during all firearm hunting seasons
  • 31,319 deer during the urban and regular archery/crossbow seasons

In addition, 3,569 deer were taken during the muzzleloader season and 633 deer with a primitive bow and muzzleloader weapons during the Mountaineer Heritage season.

Antlerless Deer Season

The antlerless deer harvest was 12 percent less than 31,255 in 2020 and 10 percent below the five-year average of 30,708. 

“It is important to note that the antlerless harvest is the key component to any deer management strategy, as it controls the future deer population,” said Johansen. 

WVDNR will hold in-person public meetings on March 14-15 for fall 2022 deer hunting regulations. The agency will solicit input on whether to increase, decrease or stabilize deer populations in each of the 51 counties where firearms deer hunting will be permitted for fall 2022.

The 2021 top-ten counties for antlerless deer harvest were Preston (1,327), Jackson (1,092), Mason (1,078), Upshur (1,048), Hampshire (1,031), Roane (945), Lewis (913), Wood (906), Monroe (891) and Ritchie (883).

Muzzleloader Deer Season

The 2021 muzzleloader harvest of 3,569 was 32 percent below the 2020 harvest of 5,227 and was 22 percent below the five-year average of 4,600. The 2021 top-ten counties were Jackson (140), Preston (138), Braxton (133), Upshur (131), Randolph (125), Nicholas (116) Greenbrier (116), Lewis (111), Barbour (107) and Mason (107).

Archery and Crossbow Deer Season

Bow and crossbow hunters harvested 31,319 deer, less than 1 percent below the 2020 archery and crossbow season harvest of 31,594 and 8 percent above the five-year average archery season harvest of 29,058.

The 2021 top-ten counties were Preston (1,257), Kanawha (1,226), Wyoming (1,170), Raleigh (1,079), Randolph (1,023), Fayette (864), Upshur (850), Wood (844), Mercer (814) and Jackson (802).

Deer by County

Below are deer totals for each north central West Virginia county.

  • Barbour – 2,116
  • Harrison – 1,697
  • Marion – 1,613
  • Monongalia – 1,874
  • Preston – 3,982
  • Taylor – 1,032
  • Tucker – 1,458
  • Lewis – 2,534
  • Randolph – 3,186
  • Upshur – 3,114
  • Webster – 1,450
  • Doddridge – 1,404
  • Gilmer – 1,810
  • Ritchie – 2,496

To see totals for all West Virginia Counties, click here.